The Big Valley

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Western TV series which ran from 1965 to 1969, starring Barbara Stanwyck, Linda Evans and Lee Majors (in his first starring role). The series featured the Barkleys, a wealthy ranch family living near Stockton in California's Central Valley. The family consisted of Victoria, a tough pioneer turned elegant lady; her four sons, and a daughter. It was more socially conscious than other Westerns of the time, featuring some diversity (black cowboys, Chinese railroad workers) and plenty of angst, often arising from various family members' attempts to fight injustice.

Tropes used in The Big Valley include:
  • Badass Family - The Barkleys. Victoria and Audra may float around in hoop skirts, but they're quite capable of putting on tight pants and shooting straight when the situation requires it
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn - The three brothers. Jarrod is an attorney, Nick runs the ranch, and Heath is a Walking Shirtless Scene.
  • Big Brother Instinct - All three of the boys, but especially Jarrod, towards Audra.
  • Cartwright Curse - All four Barkley children, despite being rich and attractive, can't make it out of an episode with a love interest still alive.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome - Eugene Barkley, originally a Berkeley student, was written out after seven episodes when the actor playing him was drafted.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather - Nick, whose character uniform is head-to-toe black leather, cowboy style.
  • Heroic Bastard - Heath, the son of Thomas Barkley by a short-lived relationship with Leah, joins his brothers' side for what seems like it will be the losing side of a gunfight by the end of the second episode.
  • Like Brother and Sister - Heath and Audra. She's defensive of him and he protective of her, though not quite as much as Jarrod, the latter seen in first season episode "Last Train to the Fair".
  • Limited Wardrobe - Jarrod always wears a homespun suit and tie; Nick, a black cowboy outfit; and Heath, tan pants and a vest.
  • Old Retainer - Silas, who apparently single-handedly takes care of the massive Barkley mansion and cooks all the meals, as he's the only servant ever seen.
  • Ruptured Appendix - Audra's in first season episode "Last Train to the Fair".
  • Someone to Remember Him By - Leah nurses Thomas Barkley back to health, after which he returns to his family, never discovering that he left Leah pregnant.